WEBSITE DESIGN & ONLINE MARKETING

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Formatting with Zeald CMS

Written by Sarah Gleeson on November 12th, 2014.      2 comments

After working hard on the design of your website, you want to ensure it is looking its best. An easy way to do this, is to make sure your text is formatted properly. Having had your website designed by Zeald, our designers will have worked hard to create a branding guide for your text. This means, that you have a text style in your website's CMS that is just right for your brand.

Benefits of formatting your text:

  • Zeald designers have created a look that is just right for your brand, and designed to look good on your website.
  • Formatting your text ensures your website looks clean.
  • You are able to manage how your text is positioned on the page, and where everything should sit.
  • The ability to keep all your text consistent across your website.

In this video, we show you how easy and quick it is to format your text. 

If you have any questions,  call our Support team on 0508 932 748 ext 1. Comment below if there is something you would like us to cover off in the next video!


 

All you need to know about inbound links

Written by Sarah Gleeson on July 11th, 2014.      0 comments

Link building is hard work, when done right. You don't want to resort to creating spam links. It is about continual updates, to keep content fresh and share worthy. 

Inbound links, also called back links, are valuable for any website. These are the links that come to your website from a different website. For example, if your business was a sports shop, a local rugby club website may link to your website to show their members where to buy their uniform. 

Why are they important?

Inbound links act as a direct pathway to your website. This means that a whole new audience can now find your website with ease. The amount of visitors that come through that link, depends on how much traffic the initial source receives.   

Another benefit of inbound links is that they serve to increase your SEO.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is how well your website displays in a search engines unpaid results. To get more traffic, it is better to appear in the first page of results, as close to the top as possible. 

The more inbound links your website has, the more likely that your website will rank higher in search engines. This is because the inbound links are effectively telling the search engine that your website is trustworthy. Search engines (like Google) take this into account when ranking websites. 

However, not all inbound links are weighted the same. So it is not wise to create a bunch of spam websites to link to your website. 

Inbound links from other trustworthy websites are weighed much higher than inbound links from low ranked websites. For instance, an inbound link from Kings Plant Barn will be weighted higher than a small garden shop website whose website has not had any new content for years. 

Natural linking

It is important to ensure any inbound link seems natural. This means that the link should ideally be used as part of a sentence. This can easily be done with the use of a hyperlink. E.g. "Anthony’s Sports Shoes in Albany has a fantastic range of rugby shoes fit for any age this winter."

By placing a link within a sentence, customers are more likely to click on it. People are less likely to click on a link if it is just a URL, let alone a URL that they have to copy and paste into their browser. 

How to get inbound links

Since inbound links come from other websites, it can seem difficult to know how to get them. The best trick to get inbound links, is to have great content that people want to share with their audience. From there, you want to ensure people can find your content easily. This means, placing your content where your target audience is. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow for immediate sharing, as well as related forums. Another fantastic idea, is to add your content to your email marketing and newsletters. 

Here are my top 5 ways to get inbound links:

  1. Create a blog 

    This is a great resource for getting original content out infront of people. What does your audience want to know about? What are problems they might be facing? Create blogs centered around their needs, this will not only ensure people come back to read your articles, but they are more likely to share your link to likeminded people. Make sure you send out your blogs to your customer database, or on social media to ensure more people see them. 

  2. Guest blog

    Guest blogging is where you create content for another website. This means that you able to talk directely to another websites' audience. Not only that, but you can direct the audience to your website for more information. For instance, a landscaping company could write up a blog for a gardening website, on the top new trends for utilising space. 

  3. Write case studies

    Case studies are a fantastic opportunity to promote your business without a heavy sales pitch. Find a client of yours who is happy to talk about their experience with your product or service. Any case study that makes your client or customer's business look good, will be sure to be shared by them too. Make sure you put your case studies on your website and on social media platforms too!

  4. PR

    Is your organisation doing something fantastic in the community? Why not write into your local newspaper with a story! Online articles best for SEO, but even a paper only version means that you get more brand awareness. Most newspapers have great SEO because of their rich content, so having them link their online articles to your website is sure to result in a heavy weighted link. 

  5. Create informative or fun videos

    Vidoes are one of the top shared types of content. Does your company have an upbeat personality? If so, create a video about your product/service, or team. If your business has more of a serious personality, why not create an informative video? Bunnings Warehouse creates fantastic DIY videos that are a huge hit with DIY rookies. 

Take home message:

Create new fresh content whenever possible. Post your own articles on social media platforms and in relevant forums. But resist spamming people, only post what you think is valuable and relevant to your audience.  



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10 tips for writing better web copy

Written by Sarah Gleeson on September 10th, 2013.      0 comments

Writing copy for your website can seem like a formidable task. You spend hours agonising over each carefully crafted sentence, prudently selecting each word, until you have a perfect piece of writing that is keyword rich, speaks to your reader and gets across your point; only to edit it again and tweak it some more the next day!

The aim of any copywriting is to reach right out and pull your intended audience in before they can glaze past your main points. You want to know what is important to your audience; what their problems are, and how you can resolve them. It is essential to know this before you start typing. As our own Glen Sharkey once said; you need to know where your target is first before firing off arrows into any direction. By gathering this information, you are able to understand what will satisfy your audience and then write accordingly. Successful copy will spark interactions; suckful copy will increase your bounce rate.

Here at Zeald, we spend a lot of time copywriting for your website content, our own content, blogs and advertising. Because of this, we have become seasoned professionals. It can be gut-wrenching, not to mention costly, to discover that your web copy just isn’t working. No one is engaging, signing up for your newsletter, buying your product etc. So instead of agonising over your about us section or your latest blog post, follow our top 10 tips for writing better web copy.

  1. Appeal to your reader. As we mentioned you need to know your reader. You need to know their wants, worries and needs, and then write about what they want to read, not what you like to write about. Appeal to your reader by using “alluring words” such as YOU, IMAGINE and BECAUSE.
  2. Brainstorm attention grabbing headlines. Make sure it is catchy enough for people to want to read on. Numbers, questions, problems, and facts are a great ways to spark the attention of a reader. 
  3. Evoke emotion. People are more likely to remember it, and connect with what they are reading. For example, if you run a gardening shop, remind people how satisfying it is to have their own produce on the table.
  4. Acknowledge worries. You want to make people aware of what their concerns are with your industry and then address them (make sure you can address them). For example if you own a florist shop, highlight the concern of flowers not being delivered on time, then put their mind at ease with your track record, money back guarantee etc.
  5. Be confident. Words like “may, wish, hope, try, perhaps” leave your audience not knowing if you will come through, instead choose the words that instil confidence- “will, can, do”.
  6. Write for the here and now. Avoid using past tense; you want to engage with your audience straight away. Present tense is the key.
  7. Break up your paragraphs. People avoid big content blocks because they take effort to read. Play around with images, bullet points, headlines and your layout to keep their attention for longer.
  8. Use language your audience can understand. There is nothing worse than when a great message goes over someone’s head because they did not understand what was being said.
  9. Utilise stories. Most people avoid advertising at all costs. A relatable story can break down those barriers and create a more willing listener.
  10. Humour never killed anyone. A good chuckle from your reader may be more effective than you know. 
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Landing pages: What are they, why do you need them and how do you use them properly?

Written by Casey Hartigan on April 2nd, 2013.      0 comments

Learn more about Landing Pages with Zeald Website ConsultationGetting customers to either purchase from you or make an enquiry should be the main goal of any website, but actually getting customers to convert can be a tricky process. Landing pages help you with this conversion process by providing relevant information to specific groups of visitors and guiding them towards a main goal.

Essentially a landing page is a web page that is separate from you main website. It is typically linked from a campaign and contains

  • no navigation to other pages on your website
  • call to actions
  • tailored copy to suit particular visitor’s needs.
For example, if you were to send out an email campaign to your existing customers with a special offer for a new product, you would want to target the content on this page to people who are familiar with your offering. The purpose of this page would be completely different to one that was linked to from your Ad Words ad, which would typically be new customers who have only read a few sentences about your company.

So how should you use landing pages effectively?

1. Only have one message/goal per page

Unlike the rest of your website, which is likely to be more generic and aimed towards a wide range of people, a landing page should be extremely focused towards one particular customer group and goal. Don’t confuse your visitors – if they clicked through to find out more about a discounted product, only tell them about this product. Make sure your headline shows customers that they have come to the right page for what they are looking for.

2. Keep the main message the same throughout both the campaign/ad and the landing page.

The main benefit of a landing page is that you can tailor the copy to specifically match a particular campaign. For example, if you are sending out an email offering 25% off a new product to people who have purchased from you before, the email and landing page should both highlight this deal, so that when a customer decides to click through from your email to the website they are easily able to see that they are on the right track to getting their discount.

3. Have a clear call to action

The call to action on your page needs to stand out. Ideally, there should be a call to action near the top (as soon as you’ve finished your initial sell) and then repeated further down the page as you answer any other questions people may have. This allows people to convert easily and quickly.

4. Ensure you landing page has a professional design

Your landing page is likely to be the first page that many potential customers click through to, so it’s extremely important that the design is clean, uncluttered and in line with the rest of your advertising. If you are using long blocks of copy, break it up by using bullet points and headings and include call to actions throughout.

5. Test, test and test some more

The single most effective way of ensuring that your landing pages are working the best that they can is to conduct split tests to test different versions and changes that you make. Split tests involve directing traffic from your campaigns to different variations of your landing page and provide you with actual data that you can use to make decisions on which one to use.

 

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Why Content Marketing is King

Written by Emily Wilson on March 4th, 2013.      2 comments

Why Content is King. Content Marketing with ZealdBack in 1996 Bill Gates wrote an article titled “Content is King”.  In is article he said: “When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide… One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.”  Gates continues to say that content in the form of "print" cannot just be replicated on the internet, the audience on the internet demands more interactivity. They need audio, video and the ability to share this information with others. 

What Bill Gates was essentially talking about is what we call Content Marketing. This is something you probably already do without even realising it.  With content marketing your goal is to create great content that attracts, engages and converts. You basically want to communicate to your customers by creating and sharing high-quality content, in the hopes of influencing purchasing decisions and building brand loyalty.

This means having a website, blog, newsletter, social media channels, video, text, images. All these things create content, the next step is to make it quality content. TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden said during his SES London presentation "Great content isn't really great until it is found, consumed, and shared." Quality content is what your prospects and clients want to consume. You need to make it relevant to your target market and make it visible to them. 

Consumers have an insatiable appetite for good content. If you are unsure where to start, here are 10 ideas about what you can do:

  1. Set up a blog. See our article here for more information.
  2. People are time-poor. Write an article that contains a list – like “5 best ways to get your baby to sleep.” Post this article to blog sites, forums, Twitter, Facebook, newsletter etc.
  3. Create how-to guides. People love to search the internet for ways they can help themselves. Get them coming to read your blog with some how-to information.
  4. Share your news. Share what is happening in your industry, city or country. These posts need to be timely – news travels fast!
  5. The saying no news is good news does not apply here. Take the negative angle and you’ll be surprised at how your traffic increases – eg “5 things not to do before you go to sleep.”
  6. Case studies build your brand’s trust and credibility. People love before and after shots.
  7. Evergreen content is fresh and created by you. It can be shared over and over and remains relevant to your target market. This could be a special report or case study, video or seminar for example.
  8. Give out the facts. Provide the latest statistics and research for your industry and if you conduct your own research - share this.
  9. Review a product. Either one of your own via a consumer, or show how to use one of your products. If you are in a service industry review a product that you use to show why it is the best on the market.
  10. Get creative and make a video series on your Youtube channel.

Content marketing is great for link building and SEO. If you build in keywords to your writing it will help your article be found through search engines. Content marketing also builds trust and credibility and because of this, will lead to more sales. If there was a winning formula for content marketing then it would go something like this: 1. Be a brand champion for your business; 2. Your customers need to identify and empathise with your brand; 3. Your content needs to tell a story and be creative to spark interest and virality.

 

How to write an effective unique selling proposition

Written by Casey Hartigan on October 1st, 2012.      1 comments

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is one of the most important parts of your homepage. Visitors to your website need to be able to tell almost instantaneously whether or not you will be able to fulfil their needs. An effective USP achieves this by telling the customer what you have to offer, and more importantly, what sets you apart from your competitors. It should be placed right at the top of your website so that it is one of the first things your visitors see. Follow the steps below to write an effective USP for your business.

1. Identify and define your target market

It is important to realise that you are not going to be able to serve every man and his dog. Before you can begin to sell your product or service to your visitor, you must define who it is you want to target. For example, if you are a caterer who solely caters for weddings, instead of targeting anyone who is looking for a caterer, you may choose to target people who are planning their wedding on a budget.

2. Identify the problem that your customers have and how you can solve it

If your website visitors didn’t have a problem, they probably wouldn’t be on your website! To make it clear that you are the correct place to be you need to spell out what problems you are able to solve. Let’s go back to the catering example. There are many people who will be looking for someone to cater for them, whether it be for a birthday party, funeral, work function or wedding. If you’re a caterer solely focused on catering weddings on a budget, then it is important to place emphasis on this. It’s important to remember that you can’t solve everyone’s problems! Be the best that you can at what you do rather than average at doing everything.

3. Point out what makes you different from your competitors

Pointing out what makes your business unique is one of the most important parts of your USP. Write down what separates you from your competitors. Are you the cheapest? Fastest? Most knowledgeable? Tell your visitors what sets you apart from other businesses who could fulfil their needs.

4. Write it out and refine it

Once you’ve figured out who your target market are, what problem you can solve for your customers and what sets you apart from the competition, it’s time to put it altogether in a short and sharp sentence or two. This process can take a while to get the final product, so give yourself plenty of time. Spread it out over a couple of weeks as fresh eyes are always best!

5. Put it on your website

Once you’ve finalised your USP, put it near the top of your website. If you have images on your homepage, try and link them in with your USP to give it more strength. You may find that after a while your USP will need refining again to keep it in line with the ever-changing ways of your business – if you find this is the case, just start again at step one and identify what changes need to be made.

 

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Get Your Business Seen - Use Video

Written by Casey Hartigan on July 17th, 2012.      0 comments

Video is becoming increasingly important when it comes to ranking in search results. YouTube is owned by Google and is one of the leading search engines in the world, so having video means you're more likely to get noticed. In fact, studies show that a page with video is 53 times more likely to be seen in search results (Forrester, 2010). However, choosing a subject for your videos can be quite daunting and many businesses tend to put it in the too-hard basket.

If you're selling products, consider making a short video of what the product is and how it's used, or give a short tour of your store if you have one. If you're selling a service, you could film some examples of your service or give tips and advice related to your industry. All of these ideas will help to create credibility and make sure your business gets seen.

When making a video, make sure that you keep it short and to the point. It's also important that it's of good quality. Ensure that you film in a well-lit room and that you keep the camera steady. If you're going to speak during the video, make sure the recording is clear and understandable. Then, once you've created your videos, read up on how to embed them on your website.

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Correct the names of your images to improve your SEO

Written by Casey Hartigan on February 29th, 2012.      0 comments

You've probably heard how important it is to include your businesses major key words on your homepage, but what you might not know is that Google looks at a lot more than just the text on the page. By using key words in your image file names, you can help you website rank higher in Google for those important key word terms.

Chances are your images are named something like "X20110105%homepage%product%1" - you can double check this by right clicking on the image and choosing properties. The problem with names like these is they give no indication to search engines about what the image is actually of. Instead, change the name to include key words e.g. if the picture is of a MacBook Pro, change the name to apple_macbook_pro_white. This way search engines will have more indication as to what is on the page and will therefore rank your page higher.

                     Correct your Image Names to Improve your SEO with Zeald
 
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About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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